States Prod Hollywood For Anti-smoking Ads In Dvds

Attorney General Spitzer today renewed his call for Hollywood’s major motion picture studios to insert anti-smoking public service announcements in all DVDs and videos of movies in which smoking is depicted.

In addition to a written appeal, Spitzer - - part of a coalition of 41 states and territories concerned about the connection between depictions of smoking in films and youth smoking - - sent each studio three anti-smoking messages which were created by the American Legacy Foundation. The three ads are being made available at no cost for the studios’ unlimited use.

"The purpose of this initiative is to counter Hollywood’s glamorization of smoking," said Spitzer. "Unlike depictions in films, smoking is not cool and glamorous. Smoking kills. We hope that these ads, placed in DVDs and videos, will help deter young people from ever taking up this deadly habit."

Today’s action follows a November 2005 request by Spitzer and 31 other attorneys general to the studios to help prevent youth smoking by inserting anti-smoking messages on movies that depict smoking. In 2003, a Dartmouth Medical School study found that reducing the prevalence of cigarette smoking scenes in movies could drastically reduce the initiation of smoking by youth.

Public service announcements already appear on some DVDs for many worthwhile causes and organizations, and they are often linked to themes prevalent in the movies they precede.

Today’s letter and the earlier request were sent to the CEOs of Paramount Pictures, the Walt Disney Company, Miramax Films, Dreamworks, Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGM Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers Studios, Fox Filmed Entertainment, and New Line Cinema.
The letter was also sent to the CEOs of three independent studios: Lionsgate, MTV Network and The Weinstein Company.

States and territories participating in the campaign are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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